Top 2000 (Netherlands)


May 17, 2022

The NPO Radio 2 Top 2000 has been an annual radio program of the Dutch public radio station NPO Radio 2 since 1999. In it the two thousand most popular songs of all time are played consecutively by voting. Every year, at the end of the year, anyone can vote for a full week. In 2008 there was no 'Top 2000 Voting Week' and the list was based on that of all previous years. The Top 2000 is broadcast during the last days of each calendar year. The first edition was a huge success. The station, then called Radio 2, decided to repeat the program every year from now on. In the years after 1999, people started using an increasingly extensive list of options and voting was possible via the Internet, whereby it was usually possible to deviate from the list of options. The Top 2000 became by far the most listened-to radio program in the Netherlands. The broadcast starts on Christmas Day and continues non-stop until midnight New Year's Eve. The broadcast is interrupted every hour by the STER commercial breaks and the NOS Journaal. In the 23 editions between 1999 and 2021, Queen's album Bohemian Rhapsody was chosen eighteen times as number 1. In 2005, another album topped the list for the first time, namely Evening by Boudewijn de Groot. In 2010 and 2014 that was Hotel California by the Eagles, in 2015 Imagine by John Lennon and in 2020 Roller Coaster by Danny Vera.



The Top 2000 was originally intended as a one-off initiative at the turn of the millennium. The idea was to ring in 1999 and 2000 with the best 2,000 songs ever made. Listeners were asked to send in a record in which they had a certain memory via post or the internet. From January of that year, listeners were thus allowed to vote for the "song of the century". In the course of 1999, two thousand so-called millennium songs were collected in this way. At the beginning of November 1999, these two thousand singles were placed on the Internet and teletext in alphabetical order. You could also vote for the order. For the very first edition in 1999, the EO gave up airtime. What was also special was that the Top 2000 continued at night, while Radio 2 was not on the air at night at the time. Voting was only possible for songs in a pre-determined selection list, with the number growing slightly every year. In 2000, a completely free choice was only used once in the period 1999-2004. According to Kees Toering, in the early years longer songs that nobody knew and that had the same number of voices as shorter songs were deliberately programmed overnight. Toering, former Radio 2 station coordinator, gave the following reason in 2021: "We found it inconvenient to play that prime time, because then people leave. We also decided that every hour should start with an uptempo song; that was one of the the radio laws."


In 2005, after six years, the Top 2000 received a new number 1: Evening by Boudewijn de Groot rose from place 5 to first place as a result of a promotion by Radio 2. The voting procedure also changed: prior to voting, people could enter their favorites that were not in the selection list for a tip list, which was later added to the voting list. As a result, some new, but also old, songs came high in the list. Another notable newcomer to the list was Nirvana with Smells Like Teen Spirit, which entered the list at number 105. The top new entry was Katie Melua with Nine Million Bicycles at number 23.


The top 10 was determined this time in a bell game-like television program, which went wrong with many Top 2000 fans. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, which after internet voting turned out to have taken the number 1 position again, held on to this position throughout the final.


For the first time, two dialed numbers were refused. It went